In Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris, readers are introduced to Sookie Stackhouse, a resident telepath, waitress, and spunky young woman, her brother Jason who has a revolving door in his bedroom, her boss Sam Merlotte, and of course, her vampire, Bill Compton. They all live in Bon Temps, Louisiana.
(If you haven’t watched the HBO series True Blood based upon this series of books you better get watching. But I digress.)
“His voice was quiet and rustling, like feet through dry grass.” (Page 166)
Sookie and Bill meet at Merlotte’s and they quickly fall into bed after some initial posturing. Readers should know where this relationship was headed from the way Sookie looks at Bill and the way Bill reacts to her presence. The plot is thick with sexual tension and drama, from the way Bill silently stares at Sookie to the way she feels at ease because she cannot hear Bill’s thoughts and from the entrance of outrageous vampires from nearby Monroe to the murders of two fang-bangers.
“I got a tight feeling in my chest, a bitterness, at another thing I was denied. And I thought, Why not?
I stopped him by pulling gently on his hand. I stretched up and lay my lips on his shining cheek. I inhaled the scent of him, ordinary by faintly salty. He was wearing a trace of cologne.
I felt him shudder. He turned his head so his lips touched mine.” (Page 58)
Dead Until Dark will suck readers into the swampy, wooded south populated with vampires, telepaths, and more. Sookie is strong, hot tempered, loyal, and eager to help those in need, while Bill is her polar opposite, struggling to regain his humanity against his vampiric qualities. Like any good vampire story, there is a “love” triangle of sorts, murder, mayhem, and triumph. A good start to the series, which vampire/fantasy readers will love and other readers can enjoy as well.